Del Jones was a distinguished member of SfAA and an African American anthropologist who developed perspectives that could assist and transform the lives of oppressed and disadvantaged peoples. Following his death in 1999, close friends and members of the Society established the Del Jones Memorial Fund. This Fund supports two travel grants of $750 for a student to attend the annual meeting of the Society. The Del Jones Travel Award is intended to increase minority participation in SfAA, particularly African American participation, but also to honor the life and work of Del Jones independently of the minority criterion. The winning paper will best reflect the contributions and/or life experiences of Del Jones.
Two awards of $750 each will be available to students who meet the eligibility qualifications.
Applicants should submit a written statement not to exceed two, double-spaced pages. The statement should explain how participation in the annual meeting will further the professional goals of the applicant. The statement may also include information, which documents the interest of the applicant in efforts to transform the lives of disadvantaged peoples.
The deadline for submission is December 20. The results of the competition will be announced in January.
Rachel (she/her) is a PhD candidate at UCLA in the Psychological/Medical Anthropology subfield. She is also pursuing an MD at UCLA, which she will complete after her PhD. Her dissertation research is an ethnographic study of a clinical project looking at ways to better recognize and communicate pain in nonverbal pediatric patients. Her work incorporates themes of disability, expertise and the communicability of pain, and she is exploring ways to incorporate autoethnography and visual and multimodal ethnographic practice. Her dissertation chair is Jason Throop. Outside of her studies she enjoys cooking, gardening, and playing with her cats.
Gloria Sosa is a MA candidate in the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Los Angeles. Her own migration story inspired her to pursue social inclusion and justice for the undocumented immigrant community. Gloria is currently working on a community-based project compiling her community members’ oral histories to uplift their victories and bring awareness to the structural violence they experience. Gloria’s compromise with her community goes beyond engaging undocumented folks in research. For the past five years, she has served as a volunteer English teacher for adults. Gloria wishes to continue her volunteer work while advancing toward her goal of becoming an anthropology professor.
Malak El Jada is a student at Arizona State University studying Global Health. Currently, she works on the ASU Advance Project examining the differential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on tenure-track and tenured professors. Her personal research interests include examining the efficacy and scalability of community-based initiatives supporting survivors of gender-based violence, specifically intimate partner violence. She is interested in how community exchange networks and mutual aid networks can be utilized to distribute financial and social resources to survivors of intimate partner violence.
Fallon Marsh is a recent undergraduate student in anthropology, sociology, and political science at the University of Delaware and an upcoming graduate student in applied anthropology. Their research interests include migration and displacement studies in regards to immigration by way of the Mexican-American border, political and legal anthropology, and post-colonial studies relating to economic power dynamics. While an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, Fallon was a part of the “Bordering” and Undocumented Migration Project team located at the university, both of which focused on Latino migration into Delaware and analyzed how both figurative and literal borders are constructed in American society to limit the power of Latino migrants. Fallon’s focus in this research was on wage exploitation and unequal power dynamics experienced by Latino immigrants within the Delaware working culture. In the future, Fallon is determined to dedicate themselves in aiding to the protection of immigrant communities across the United States and contribute to the growing body of researchers already working within this field.
Amanda A. Lee is a second-year PhD student in sociocultural anthropology with a minor in medical anthropology at University of Arizona. She has a BS in molecular and cellular biology from University of Arizona and an MPH in health policy and management from Boston University. Her research interests include medical systems and institutions, care for environmental exposure-related chronic illnesses, and environmental and racial justice in Tucson. She has worked for several years on health inequities studies in St. Louis, MO and Tucson, AZ. She is currently involved with a project that aims to reduce chemical exposures in auto and beauty shops using community-based participatory research methods. In addition to academic work, Amanda volunteers with local im/migrant-serving organizations and teaches K-12 students about science and the environment.
Belinda Ramírez is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California San Diego. Her research deals with the racial, political, and economic dimensions of urban agriculture in the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan region, and in particular in the creation of ethical communities. While researching these topics, Belinda was exposed to the fulfillment found in experiential learning and working firsthand to change her local food system, receiving agricultural training through local farms and her involvement with community gardens in southern San Diego. She has also engaged in statewide political advocacy for young farmers through the National Young Farmers Coalition and serves as the Food Justice Co-Chair for Slow Food Urban San Diego. Considering herself a farmer-scholar, Belinda manages food production at W.D. Dickinson Farm in National City. Looking to the future, she is excited to contribute to the transformation of the global food system through agricultural education efforts based within her own food production spaces as well as through political advocacy, research, and writing.
Mecca Burris is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University. She recently received her M.A. in applied anthropology from the University of South Florida. Mecca’s research has focused on issues of food insecurity among vulnerable groups, particularly adolescents and older adults. She has worked extensively with community organizations, including the Hunger Action Alliance, Childhood Hunger Initiative, and the Monteverde Institute of Costa Rica, applying participatory action research to better understand the risks, determinants, experiences, and biocultural consequences of food insecurity at various life-course stages.
Tashelle Wright is a third-year PhD student in Public Health at the University of California, Merced. She works with Dr. Nancy J. Burke in the Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) Lab. She received her MSPH in May 2018 and is the Chair for the Merced County ACCT (A Community Counteracting Tobacco) Coalition. Prior to UC Merced, she worked for a state health department in their Office of Health Disparities. As a PhD student, her area of focus is oral health and tobacco use disparities among underserved populations (e.g. older adults, Blacks, Latinx and immigrants). Her current research project includes qualitative research on the oral health environment in three rural San Joaquin Valley counties through interviews and focus groups. Her long-term goal is to have an academic career teaching and conducting research that is intersectional, culturally-relevant, and community-based.
Chelsey Carter is a doctoral candidate in anthropology and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. She is also a Masters of Public Health candidate at the George Warren School of Social Work. Prior to the onset of her doctoral studies, Chelsey worked with various non-profit and for profit organizations around the United States. Her research examines the intersections of race, class, gender, and chronic illness in the U.S. Her forthcoming project will examine how black people with neuromuscular diseases (like ALS) navigate healthcare spaces and experience care by healthcare institutions in post Ferguson St. Louis. Her work also considers how anti-black racism stifles health and further promotes health inequities for black people. She received her Bachelor’s in Anthropology with high honors and a minor in Spanish from Emory University, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She also earned her Master’s in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis.
Melinda Gonzalez is a PhD student in Anthropology at Louisiana State University. Melinda’s dissertation research focuses on the role of music, poetry, and verbal art in community organizing across the Puerto Rican Diaspora in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She is a research assistant working on questions of uncertainty and environmental change through a Board of Regents Grant held by Dr. Micha Rahder in Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala for the Maya Forest Futures Project. She holds a Master’s degree from Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey in Anthropology and obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow.
I am a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Albany (UAlbany). I am originally from Greenville, MS. I grew up in Atlanta, GA. I have a BA from Hampshire College, where I studied, Africana Studies concentrating in American history and social psychology. My research interests are critical race theory, ethnohistory, gender studies, and black political movements. I am currently conducting research amongst African-descendent activists in Albany, NY. My work examines the ways in which scholars use artistic expression and identity in their struggle for black collective liberation. I also work with black business owners, who use manage collective accountability through social entrepreneurship and activism within the same community (sometimes but very rarely in collaboration with artists). In my research, the two approaches to activism are tied together, due to the kinship and friendship networks of the activists involved and the overlapping politics and debates within and across groups. My research asks: what is the role of art and business in the struggle for black liberation? How does the complexity of intersectional political complicate these methods? How are freedom and liberation defined within black communities in Albany, New York? How do these methods function as politically-engaged and discursive modes of dealing with inequality? What insights does black activism in Albany provide in terms of the betterment of the human condition and mitigating inequality more generally?
Stevie Merino is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Anthropology at California State University Long Beach, where she also received her Bachelor's Degree. As a birth Doula, Stevie has seen first hand the various ways that birth is and can be experienced. These observations have led her to focus on birth for her thesis. Her research interests include birth traditions, how they have been lost or maintained amongst different groups upon coming to the U.S, the medicalization of birth, the disparities in birth outcomes for women of color, the experiences and roles of birth workers (specifically Doulas and Midwives) in providing culturally competent care. Stevie hopes to add to the dialogue on the state of birth in the United States. Her paper at SFAA looks at the experiences of birth workers of color in Los Angeles County and examines their approaches to using cultural traditions to improve birth experiences.
Dana Burton is a current graduate student of Anthropology at George Washington University, Washington, DC. She received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from Tufts University. She is interested in education, specifically the practice of learning as it pertains to crafting policy. Dana’s interest in education practices stretches across the US to Central and South America. Most recently, she traveled to Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, where she conducted research within an indigenous community on the representation and experience of the traditional within a musical framework, as well as, the various ways in which music is learned and taught. Dana has always loved the intricacies of theory within linguistic, practice and power discourses. She recently acquired an interest in the function of the audit and the ways standardization positions people within the educational and community space. Upon graduation this spring, Dana is eager to promote an open dialogue of effective and accessible education policies in the world today, and hopes to one day receive a Ph.D to teach.
Kristen Vogt is a doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction at University of Illinois at Chicago. She has also obtained a Master’s in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University and a Bachelor’s in Medieval Studies (Hons) from University of Oregon. Her research focuses on informal STEM Education, museums, curriculum studies, and urban anthropology. Currently, she is authoring STEM curriculum for the Boy Scouts of America and teaching STEM education for K-12 students at iFLY. Within museums, she has previously worked as an evaluator, educator, and manager, and her dissertation topic is on the effects of programming on inner-city youth at the Adler Planetarium.
Emilia M. Guevara is currently a medical anthropology PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received both her BA and MA in cultural anthropology at George Mason University. Her research interests include Latin America, illness narratives, transnationalism, im/migration, race/ethnicity and inequality, the molecularization of race, and clinical ethnography. She has worked on a wide range of projects from transnational adoption to evaluating community health worker programs. She is currently working on two projects: Health-related Deservingness and Illegality on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and Stigma, Retention in Care, and Adherence among Older Black Women with HIV.
Colette Street is an independent researcher and Child Protective Services practitioner in Los Angeles, California. She completed her graduate education at Fielding Graduate University, and the University of Southern California. As an advocate of enhancing work-life balance and professional/practitioner safety, she has developed a future-forward, humane, and holistic framework known as the Time-Space Intelligence Assessment System. The framework was initially created as a tool for child protective services practitioners to conduct safe and accurate family/caregiver visits. Please see "What Is Time-Space Intelligence?" for more information. To compliment her research in time-space intelligence, she is also a certified Strength Deployment Inventory facilitator. Dr. Street is an inductee in the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society. Professional memberships include the National Association of Social Workers, the American Professional Society on the abuse of Children, and the Society for Applied Anthropology. Her research has led to national and international presentations on subjects such as workplace bullying, spirituality in social work practice, and time-space intelligence in child protective services.
I am a research librarian and doctoral student in social anthropology at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. My ongoing research is concerned with mass incarceration and the oppositional strategies that constitute the prison resistance movement in the United States. Some of the questions that animate my research include the following: What are the ideological and tactical approaches to prison resistance and how are these approaches articulated and negotiated on the ground? What are the possibilities of advancing a radical critique of mass incarceration under present neoliberal conditions? How have incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people contributed to prison resistance efforts? This research will contribute to a broad set of theoretical concerns related to the black radical tradition, social movements & knowledge production, the neoliberal city, and racialization & resistance. I am conducting this project in collaboration with The Center For NuLeadership On Urban Solutions, an innovative research, training and advocacy organization developed by formerly incarcerated professionals and staffed by people directly impacted by the criminal justice system.
I am a Master’s candidate in the Applied Anthropology program at the University of Memphis with a certificate in Museum Studies (B.A., History, University of Memphis, 2004; Anthropology, 2011). My research interests include the preservation and documentation of neglected historic communities and how they create relevance for museums in their host community. I am also particularly interested in the relationship between cultural heritage preservation – material culture, building and structures that are neglected, abandoned, or demolished – and identity and empowerment of the community. As a Memphis native, with a long family history in the area, I am passionate about preserving the cultural heritage of my city’s rich and complex history. My current work at the historic Mount Carmel Cemetery in Memphis is a pilot project for community based cemetery restoration. I have also worked with the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa, the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange, and the Mallory Neely Historic Home in Memphis, TN.
Anne Victoria is currently a master’s student at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. She received her BS in Nursing from the University of Iowa. Her research interests include mobility and transportation, health, ethnographies of science, anthropology of the body, and public policy and equity issues. Her thesis project examines mobility and transportation perceptions from the lived experience of the bus user during evolving structural and policy changes within the transportation system.
Michael Young is completing his master’s degree in cultural anthropology at the University of South Carolina and will be continuing onto the doctoral program at USC beginning fall 2013. In 2009, he double majored at California State University Long Beach receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology along with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management. Michael stresses the importance of community for individual/group development and has incorporated these themes into his past work and current graduate research. While completing a double major at CSULB, Michael was actively volunteering his time to projects such as a community garden run by a local non-profit organization situated in a densely populated low income neighborhood in Santa Ana, California. The garden was designed to facilitate interactions between community members by providing a space that is shared in common without privately allocated portions. The community building this simple garden achieved was remarkable and influenced the creation of “Root Awakening,” an ethnographic documentary co-created with his peers.
Michael Young’s graduate research concerns the economic decisions a Q’eqchi’ Maya community near Livingston, Guatemala is making to negotiate the dynamic intersecting global processes affecting their livelihoods. During the summer of 2012 he conducted fieldwork in Guatemala which was generously funded by the Walker Institute of Area Studies. The original research question focused on the cooperatively managed community-based ecotourism business within the village, but upon arrival to the community this business was realized as being only a portion of the complex web of cooperative business initiatives present. While being given the opportunity to live within the community and listen to informants’ life histories he was able to understand the many factors affecting the families and the community as a whole. Through the utilization of interdisciplinary training he collaborated with the ecotourism business to create a web presence on their behalf which features a promotional video that presents the experience offered.
Over the 2012 winter break, Michael worked in conjunction with two international volunteer organizations (VIMEX and Volunteers for Peace) to create a volunteer camp within his field site. The volunteer workcamp was successful in achieving cross-cultural exchanges between the volunteer and community members in addition to broadening the support network available to the region. Michael strives to demonstrate how a university is the perfect setting for creating discussions concerning pertinent issues while having the ability to influence future generations to become active in creating positive social change.
Corliss D. Heath was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia and has over 15 years of professional experience in public health research. She has worked on a range of public health issues, including community-based research, women’s health, chronic diseases, cancer and pain management, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and health services and outcomes research. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Clark Atlanta University in 1993. In 1994, Corliss gave birth to her dream of founding SAVE, Inc., (Shaping A Vision through Empowerment), a community-based outreach non-profit organization for youth and in 2010, she expanded the organization to operate as a non-profit educational and consulting corporation promoting healthy holistic living and well-being.
In 1998, she received a Master of Public Health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and in 2004 she received a Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Until August 2010 she worked as a HIV/AIDS researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA, where she specialized in the areas of religion, spirituality, and women’s health. Currently, she is a doctoral student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL, specializing in biocultural medical anthropology. There she holds the honor of being a McKnight Fellow and is the current president of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association.
With her combined degrees in public health, religion, and anthropology Corliss wants to obtain a faculty position at a doctoral/research extensive university and continue to engage in innovative interdisciplinary research. Her current research examines the invisibility of middle class black women in HIV and AIDS research. Her paper at SfAA looks at a cultured and gendered-based approach to HIV interventions among black female college students.
Camee Maddox is a Cultural Anthropology Doctoral Candidate at the University of Florida. In 2007, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from Towson University, with a minor in African and African American Studies. Her current research explores the relationship between cultural citizenship and performance, particularly among Afro-Caribbean populations in the French Caribbean. Following her 2009 MA research in Martinique, an overseas department of France, Camee returned to the field in 2011 for preliminary dissertation fieldwork. Her dissertation will focus on the ways in which cultural citizenship is conceived and enacted through expressive forms and heritage projects. She will engage these issues in the context of Bèlè, an Afro-Creole dance/music tradition that is currently undergoing a strong grassroots resurgence.
Camee’s scholarly activities are wide-ranging, and she has worked in a variety of settings as a researcher, an activist, and a museum educator. During her time at Towson University, she participated in a project that examined issues of gentrification and displacement in a historic African American community. She also served as a museum docent at the Frederick Douglass – Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum in the historic Fell’s Point neighborhood of Baltimore City.
Camee is the proud recipient of UF’s prestigious Zora Neale Hurston Diaspora Fellowship. This summer she will be hosted by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage as a visiting student research fellow and intern, where she will carry out independent research and assist with the Annual Folklife Festival. Through her experience with the Smithsonian and her dissertation research, Camee hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the role of artists, cultural activists, and heritage workers in shaping cultural policy and the politics of belonging.
Kendall Tallmadge is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and is currently a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she is working towards a dual degree in business administration and cultural anthropology. She spent the majority of her life growing up in the small tourist town of Wisconsin Dells, WI, where her father served as the Native American liaison for the school district and strove to educate students about Native American life. She began following in her father’s footsteps during her junior year at Beloit College when she became involved with the Logan Museum of Anthropology by organizing their first and second annual Native American Awareness Month activities. Her time at the Logan provided her first opportunity to start using anthropology to foster the much-needed education of Native peoples to the larger world, and it sparked her desire to continue working with indigenous peoples and museums.
Her work in this area continued by becoming the 2009-2010 Harvey Branigar, Jr. Native intern at the Indian Arts Research Center in Santa Fe. Her time at the IARC included learning about indigenous curation techniques and participating in the institution’s ongoing Zuni consultations. Upon attending CU-Boulder, she became Dr. Jen Shannon’s research assistant and, as a result, the project ethnographer for the iShare project, a collaborative project between the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Navajo Nation Museum, National Taiwan Museum, and Paiwan Cultural Center. Kendall’s eventual thesis will involve working with members of her own tribe by recording oral histories from individuals that used to work at two different cultural tourist attractions in Wisconsin Dells. With her combined degrees, she hopes to someday hold a management position at a tribal museum or become a business consultant to tribes entering the cultural tourism industry through museums or other venues. Her paper at SfAA is about the iShare project as it relates to decolonization theory and practice.
Judy Anderson is a native of Liberia who grew up in Dallas, Texas. She first became interested in Black identities in Argentina as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in 2000. As a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida, she revisited Buenos Aires in 2005 for preliminary dissertation research on inter-ethnic relations between Africans and Afro-descendents in present day Argentina and in 2007 to conduct dissertation research. During this time she worked closely with Black community leaders, scholars, representatives of local and international state institutions, and other residents. She continues to be engaged with these communities and looks forward to helping them realize a variety of projects in the future.
Moving to Richmond, KY from Kathmandu, Nepal at age twelve was anything but an ordinary experience. To say that the move from a capital metropolitan city to a small town was a drastic cultural change during those adolescent years would be an understatement. Nonetheless, like many people, I survived those adolescent years full of confusion and trying to figure out where I belonged. As these early years shaped my understanding of the U.S. racialization processes, they also pushed me to strive for the best. I graduated from high school with a Common Wealth Diploma and as a valedictorian of my class.
Since my parents are settled in KY, I decided to stay close to home and attended Berea College in Berea, KY – another smaller town. I majored in Biology, Pre-Med with a minor in Spanish. Of course, as a “model minority,” I thought I would be going to medical school. However, the diverse experiences I received at Berea College, a liberal arts school, slowly changed my interests. Those early formative years shaped my interest and understanding in issues related to social justice. Hence, after Berea, I decided to go into Public Health. I earned a Masters degree in Public Health from George Washington University. During those years when I was pursuing my MPH, I had many wonderful learning experiences and opportunities. For instance, as part of my practicum I interned at PAHO/WHO for a year. I also interned one summer at White Ribbon Alliance and at Disability Rights Dept. in Civil Rights Division (Dept. of Justice). On the side, I also worked as a part-time bilingual advocate for Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project. All of these public health experiences shaped my perception and understanding of social inequalities and various processes of marginalization.
Post Washington, DC, I came back to Lexington, Kentucky and worked for a year and half as Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of Kentucky. During this time, I took a course in Medical Anthropology. Suddenly, it seemed that I could articulate what I had been experiencing and observing about the social issues all those years. It was as if I have uncovered a wealth of vocabulary to articulate my feelings. This was also when I realized that Anthropology is the venue that I had been searching for through my various internship positions. Currently, I am in a MA/PhD program in Medical Anthropology. I am writing my thesis for my second Masters degree. My research study, part of which I will be presenting at the SfAA 2010 Annual Meeting, is on the resettlement processes of Bhutanese refugees who have been resettled in Lexington, KY.
Tayana Arakchaa is originally from one of the remote provinces of Southern Siberia - Tyva Republic. She received the Diploma degree in English as a Foreign Language and French as a Foreign Language at Irkutsk State Linguistics University (Irkutsk, Russia). Tayana worked as a teaching assistant in the Philological department of the Tuvan State University untill 2006. Knowing English language has provided many new opportunities and greatly changed Tayana’s life from what it might have been. Tayana’s interest in American Indian Studies motivated her to become a Fulbright Visiting Scholar of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson. During the 2006-07 academic year, as a non-degree exchange student, she had an opportunity to audit classes in American Indian Studies and Anthropology. She learned about the Indian nations of the Southwest – their lands, governments, and unique rights. It was the most interesting and exciting experience of her life. After her studies at the University of Arizona, Tayana decided to change her area of study from sociolinguistics to anthropology. Before long she was a Ph.D. student in the Irkutsk State Linguistics University in Russia. Tayana recently completed her Master program in Anthropology at Boise State University. Her thesis “Household and Property Relations in Tuva” describes the transformation of households and property relations in Tyva Republic. The thesis identifies continuities and developments in land tenure during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods and tests various theoretical propositions in Economic Anthropology. Land tenure and resource management is a central issue in Tyva. Tayana also worked as a graduate research assistant in the “Home, Hearth and Households in Siberia and Northern Canada” project sponsored by National Science Foundation. Tayana is very proud that she is the first Tyvan who has received western anthropological training. Tayana’s studies in the USA enabled her to travel for pleasure and business around the country. Almost every place she goes, she tries to see at least a few of the interesting sights. Over time, Tayana has found this to be a valuable educational experience, adding to her understanding of the country, different cultures, institutions, art, history, and geography. Furthermore, Tayana has found that to live and study in another country provide opportunities to meet with many interesting people. Tayana is going back to Tuva where she will work among her Tuvan people and continue her education. She will be applying for Cultural Studies Ph.D. program at the Tuvan State University.
Nicholas Laluk is a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and is currently a graduate student at the University of Arizona. His research interests include collaboration, Indigenous archaeology, Apache archaeology, heritage preservation, Federal Indian Law and repatriation. His dissertation is titled Apache Occupation of the Chiricahua Mountains.
Jordan Robinson is an undergraduate student at the University of Florida. She will be graduating with an interdisciplinary major in Latin American Studies. Her main research interests include ethnicity, race, identity, African diaspora, human rights and political anthropology. Her current research examines social inequality in Yucatan, Mexico and the role of potters and dancers as agents of social change.
Gilberto Lopez is a Ronald E. McNair and a California Pre-Doctoral scholar. He will be graduating from Fresno State University in spring 2007 with majors in anthropology and Chicano Studies. He will also be completing a minor in philosophy. His research interests involve the study of the interrelation between immigration, health, identity, and culture change. Presently he is researching beliefs and attitudes on health by Mexican natives in northern Mexico. His research examines cultural knowledge of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and Mexican natives in northern Mexico, which will be used to test theories of cultural incompatibility addressing immigrant health issues in the U.S.
Thurka Sangaramoorthy is currently a PhD candidate in the Joint Medical Anthropology program at University of California San Francisco & Berkeley. She received her BA in Anthropology and Biology from Barnard College, and her MPH (in Sociomedical Sciences Research) Columbia University. Her research interests include the African diaspora, immigration, risk, race/ethnicity, politics of numbers/ classifications, stratified biomedicalization, ethnography in clinical settings, public health, and science and technology studies. Her dissertation project us on the rationalities of risk in HIV/AIDS research and surveillance data, and the ways in which they interface with representations of community, identity, culture, and difference among minority and transnational populations in the US. She has worked in a variety of environments including the American Museum of Natural History, Bronx Zoo, the Social Science Research Council, Columbia University, Open Society Institute, Nancy Oswald Healthcare Associates, and the University of California. She is currently teaching Anthropology at SUNY Brockport and her own course on race and medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center while writing her dissertation.
Pardis Mahdavi is currently a PhD candidate at Columbia University pursuing her doctorate in the departments of Sociomedical Sciences and Anthropology. She received her BA in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College, and an MA (in Anthropology) and a Masters of International Affairs (MIA) from Columbia University. Her research interests include sexuality, human rights, transnational feminism and public health in the context of changing global and political structures. Her dissertation project is on the intersection between sexuality and politics in post-revolutionary Iran, focusing on the new sexual and social revolution among urban Iranian young adults. She has just completed her dissertation and will be joining the faculty of the Anthropology department at Pomona College.
Richard Meyers is finishing his PhD in socio-cultural Anthropology [now called the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC)] at Arizona State University (ASU). He is currently teaching on a fellowship at Middlebury College a course entitled: "Anthropology” & “American Indians.” It explores the multiple discourses and overall relationship that existed, and currently exists, between these two linguistic organizing categories. He received his B.A. in anthropology from Amherst College prior to returning to teach back in his tiyospaye in Wanblee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He has an M.A. in English from Middlebury College’s Breadloaf program, and an M.A. in anthropology from ASU. He has worked in a variety of projects over the years. He worked as an "ethnographic consultant" for The National Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research (NCAIANMHR) in a study on Cultural Factors in Depression and Co-Morbid Drinking among Lakotas before leaving to ASU. While at ASU he worked for three years in a project between the Center for Indian Education (CIE) and the Cocopah Nation's cultural museum in Somerton, AZ. His current research involves American Indians and the contemporary reality of “ethnography” and “research” in terms of identity politics and its intersections with academia.
Michelle Edwards is a Cultural Anthropology PhD student in the Anthropology Department with an area concentration in African Studies at the University of Florida where she is a Zora Neale Hurston Fellow. She received her BA degrees in African and African-American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Kansas. She also has a MA degree in Historical Administration and Museum Studies from that same institution. Her research interests involve the study of African Diaspora material culture and history with an interest in the role of museums as research institutions and as a forum for social change. Presently she is planning to conduct a study on Ghanaian transnationalism. Her research examines the social mobility of cultural institutions and asks how inequalities, such as gender and race, affect the capacity of individuals to make choices and become empowered both in Ghana and in the U.S.
Martha Trenna Valado is currently enrolled in the anthropology PhD program at the University of Arizona. After receiving an MA in archaeology, she became interested in applying anthropological insights to current social issues and began researching homelessness in the United States. She recently completed her dissertation research on homeless people’s perception and use of urban space with the aid of a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. During the course of her fieldwork, she conducted interviews with homeless individuals, social service workers, law enforcement officials, and business owners to assess both the individual and policy-level impacts of ongoing debates over the appropriate use of urban space.
As a result of her research, Ms. Valado was invited by the Tucson Planning Council for the Homeless to chair a committee to create a 10-year plan to end homelessness for the City and County, a position that groups involved believed could best be fulfilled by someone without a vested interest in the outcome. She has been able to bring the voices of homeless people into the policy arena by presenting her research findings to this committee as well as to social service providers, the Tucson Police Department, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, and the Tucson Downtown Alliance. In addition, she has given numerous talks on the history and current state of homelessness to college and high school students and shelter volunteers. Ms. Valado views the various restrictions on the use of places frequented by homeless people as just one manifestation of worldwide trends in the regulation of groups perceived as undesirable or problematic and, thus, as an invaluable arena for research on social and spatial justice.
Ms. Espinoza will be presenting a paper entitled, "Disability Advocacy on the Move: De-theorizing the Disabled Body". Ms. Espinoza is a doctoral student at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, with an interest in the anthropology of disability. She was trained as a physical therapist in her native country (Chile) and practiced in rehabilitation centers in Ghana, Cameroon and Italy. These experiences stimulated her interest in the cultural influences on the interpretation of diability and rehabilitation.
Mr. Minn is a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He will present a paper entitled, "Advocacy and Development: Opportunities for Anthropologists in Complex Places". The paper reports on his research among Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic. Mr. Minn was a previous recipient (as an undergraduate at Yale College) of the Peter New Student Research Award.
Beatriz Reyes was born in 1981 in the city of Merida in the Mexican State of Yucatan, a region that is famous for its archaeological and cultural heritage. In 1990, Ms. Reyes and her mother emigrated to the United States, and have lived there ever since, with a two and a half year sojourn in Merida between 1993 and late 1995. Early exposure to the difference in cultures that began her fascination with how people live around the world. Between 1998 and 1999, Ms. Reyes spent one year on an American Field Service program in Japan, where she lived with a Japanese family and studied at a Japanese high school. Upon returning, her interest in Cultural Anthropology had been sparked.
Currently, Ms. Reyes is a Cultural Anthropology and Latin American Studies major at Rutgers College in Rutgers, the States University of New Jersey. Her paper, written following a six-week ethnographic field school experience, studies how tourism is affecting the traditional religious practices of Santiago Atitlan, in particular the Maximon cult. The Maximon cofradia is the largest tourist attraction in the community of Santiago Atitlan, but also has deep spiritual meaning within the traditionalist community. Ms. Reyes focused particularly on conflicts that arose between tourists and the men who take on the ritual responsibility of caring for image, and how increasing tourism is affecting the way that the religion is practiced.
Tanchica L. Terry currently is a research assistant with the Alcohol and Drug Research Center at the University of Memphis, a qualitative and quantitative research program that evaluates drug and alcohol abuse prevention for the Tennessee Department of Health. Ms. Terry utilizes her technical writing skills, as well as assist project directors and research associates in determining the effectiveness of drug and alcohol prevention programs for the Tennessee Department of Health in Shelby, Madison, and Davidson counties through qualitative and quantitative evaluative research. Ms. Terry is a graduate student in the Applied Anthropology program at the University of Memphis, with a concentration in Medical Anthropology. She holds an associate degree in Applied Sciences, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and ten years of professional training in the corporate and non-profit sectors. In addition, Ms. Terry is a member of the following associations and organizations: Coalition of African Women, American Anthropological Association, Society for Applied Anthropology, Mid-South Association for Applied Anthropologists, National Association for Allied Health, and Deans Student Advisory Council (University of Memphis).
Georgette King is an Applied Medical Anthropology PhD student in the Anthropology Department at the University of South Florida where she is a Pride Fellow with the Institute on Black Life. She has a BS in Human Service Studies from Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology and a Masters of Public Administration from Cornell’s Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA). Georgette launched her studies in anthropology after beginning a career in community services and policy development through employment as a case manager for both pregnant and parenting teens and for people living with HIV and later as a coordinator for a drug court program. Her current research explores the policy and cultural influences that shape the level of access which former Florida inmates and other disenfranchised community members may have to HIV services.
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